The amount of uncollected premiums for South Korea's state health insurance hit a record high in 2017 due to increased business failures amid a slowing economy, the insurance operator said Monday.
According to the National Health Insurance Service, its lost premiums stood at a fresh high of 188 billion won (US$173 million) this year with the number of cases also reaching a record high of some 360,000.
The comparable amount was slightly over 100 billion won in about 83,500 cases. The amount is up 3.1 times from 2012, with the number of unpaid cases rising 8.8 times over the cited period.
The service attributed the jump in lost premiums to the business slump that hit South Korea's major shipbuilding companies, which were forced to lay off thousands of workers amid plunging sales.
Uncollected insurance premiums stemming from corporate bankruptcies stood at more than 121 billion won, the largest amount by reason.
The service expressed concern that the amount of lost state health insurance premiums would go up down the road unless overall business conditions turn for the better. (Yonhap)